Sony Online Entertainment Delays All Access Pass, EverQuest Next Landmark Monetisation Model Phased in During Alpha Testing
Post by Eorl @ 01:09pm 01/03/14 | 0 Comments
Sony Online Entertainment now expects to roll out its All Access Pass on April 16, two weeks later than the original launch date of April 2, studio head John Smedley announced on Twitter.
"Looking like new membership plans will go live around 4/16 instead of 4/2. Lots of stuff to finish," said Smedley.
The company announced the new change in subscription model early last month, in which users will be able to play all of Sony Online's games with just one $14.99 subscription model. The library of supported titles currently consists of DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet, EverQuest and EverQuest 2, though the developer does intend to still offer a free-to-play option. SOE intends to extend support later this year to EverQuest Next and its sandbox counterpart, Landmark.
In related news, Sony Online Entertainment will gradually phase in EverQuest Next Landmark's microtransactions throughout the game's testing phases, taking cues from players regarding what should be changed, director of development Dave Georgeson wrote on the game's forums.
"Currently, our progression game is limited by resources, so selling those resources may seem like we're allowing you to pay for power," he wrote. "But our current game progression is not the intended real progression. Very soon, you'll only need handfuls of resources to make picks and other tools. Tool and item progression will be limited by activities completed and achievements gained...not by resources."Although the game will be available as a free-to-play option, Georgeson did reveal that the game will require some sort of economy to support itself. This was initially kicked off with the Founders Packs, which granted player access to the game's closed alpha and beta phases. Towards the end of the alpha, SOE will begin "selling stuff," offering players paid in-game resources and character clothing. Georgeson also noted that the current template for resource progression — namely purchases — will change with the final release. Being able to buy resources is just a "time shortcut" for now.
Those worried that these microtransactions may hurt the in-game economy will be glad to hear that SOE are working towards not having that affect, stating that they can be completely bypassed by taking the time in-game to afford them. Towards the closed beta phase, SOE will launch the Player Studio, allowing players to submit their creations for the chance to be featured in the in-game store. Another round of buyable items will also hit around this time, including cosmetic pets, sound and music packs, name and gender changes and other "bigger-ticket items."
"There will be additions/subtractions from this plan as we go, but we strongly believe that we can support the game well in these positive manners without compromising the game's balance, economy, or fun," Georgeson wrote.
EverQuest Next Landmark is currently in closed alpha, with access only given to those who purchase a Founders Pack. A closed beta is scheduled for later this year, in which access will also be given to random signups. Its fully-featured MMO counterpart EverQuest Next is expected sometime in 2015 or 2016.